"But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ." Mark 8:29
I have one final thought for this week one focus on self-centeredness.
It really bothered me that these disciples (who I have always admired) could be so dense in regard to Who Jesus was and what He had come to do.
Over the past two Sundays I have shared examples of how these men had followed Christ exclusively for two years and didn't seem to grasp Him. It becomes obvious that these guys are NOT minded like Jesus and that there is a wide gap between the nature of their souls. Jesus keeps trying to reveal to them how He will suffer and die to provide the atonement for their sins. But, each time they interrupt Him and try to make this about them.
You have to ask yourself, "Why did they not want to know about His impending suffering? Especially since it would have a significant impact on them?"
That question haunted me for a couple weeks as I have studied this. Last night during our discussion at LIFE Group it dawned on me, this was another expression of their selfishness.They were so focused on what they wanted Him to be they were blinded to Who He actually is! Their version of a Messiah would be One who rides into Jerusalem as a conquering hero to vanquish the might Roman army. It explains why they were so focused on what their role would be once they were in charge.
It wasn't that they were totally stupid - just totally selfish! Being selfish can cause you to look stupid!
The pleasure of being a Christ-follower is getting to know Him for Who He REALLY is and conform to His image to accomplish His purpose.
Contrast the attitude of the disciples to that of the Apostle Paul:
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:7-11
As you compare the attitudes of the disciples and that of the apostle you have to ask ourself who had a "soulshift" and who didn't?
I think you know the answer.
Which attitude is yours? Are you trying to squeeze Jesus into your image of Him or are you allowing Him to shape you into His?
Afterall, that could be the ultimate test of selfishness.